Gibbon: Beyond the Trees isn’t a long game – it’s about an hour long with the option of playing on after – and it isn’t a complicated game either. I like to think of it as an endless swinger, in 2D. In the game, you are a gibbon and you hold down a button to swing and then release it to move through the air and keep your flow of momentum going. That’s it, really. There aren’t any objectives beyond travelling to the end of a level, nor is there any reading to do, so everything the game says, it says within those modest confines.
And say something it does: Gibbon: Beyond the Trees tells a story of deforestation in the name of palm oil, and the horrid mega-fields of mono-crops grown to produce it. But though it has a clear angle, it doesn’t preach, and that’s what I find remarkable about it.
The game’s main draw is that flow of momentum I mentioned above, and it’s amazing how instinctive this is. It’s a video game thing to want to move quickly and not be held up by obstacles, I think – something I can remember as far back as games have been in my life – and it’s exactly what Gibbon: Beyond the Trees trades on here.